Vital, St

Vital, St.

an early French monk, was born about 1050 at Tierceville, near Mortain, Normandy.. He left his native land to gain instruction from the most learned men of his time, was ordained, and became (about 1080) chaplain of Robert, count of Mortain, who furnished him a prebendship in the collegial church of St. Evroul, founded by him in 1082. Vital, nevertheless, renounced his honors and emoluments (about 1091), and retired among the rocks of Mortain. The number of his followers increasing, he went (in 1093) to the forest of Craon, and afterwards to that of Fougbres. He finally (about 1105) founded an abbey in the forest of Savigny, near Mortain, dedicated to the Trinity, which was confirmed in 1112. Hence Vital made extended preaching tours, the fame of which reached even the papal ears. In 1120 he passed over to England, where he made many conversions. About the same time he transferred, to Neluf-Bourg a nunnery which he had founded near Savigny, in honor of his sister St. Adeline. He died while performing matins at the priory of Dampierre, Sept. 16, 1122. The monastery established by him gave rise to many others, both in France and England, the most remarkable of which were those of La Trappe, Fournmont, and Aulnoy. It finally (in 1148) passed over to the Order of Citeaux. One of the last successors of abbé Vital was Massillon. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, s.v.

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